The New York Times deleted a tweet on Friday after drawing immense criticism from social media. The tweet itself linked to its article on President Donald Trump's press briefing on Thursday, where he spoke about UV light and disinfectant as possible treatments for coronavirus. "At a White House briefing, President Trump theorized — dangerously, in the view of some experts — about the powers of sunlight, ultraviolet light and household disinfectants to kill the coronavirus," the initial tweet read.
After users began piling on the news outlet, The Wrap pointed out that the tweet was deleted and a new one promoting the article posted in its place. It was also noticeably more direct about the potential dangers of following the president's medical advice. "On Thursday, [Trump] speculated about treatments involving the use of household disinfectants that would be dangerous if put inside the body," the tweet read, in part. It also posted a follow-up tweet referencing the "some experts" line, adding "to be clear, there is no debate on the danger."
President Trump has promoted unproven and potentially dangerous treatments for the coronavirus. On Thursday, he speculated about treatments involving the use of household disinfectants that would be dangerous if put inside the body. https://t.co/p4foAc26ag— The New York Times (@nytimes) April 24, 2020
Amid the blowback, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany attempted to blame the media over the president's remarks in a statement. "President Trump has repeatedly said that Americans should consult with medical doctors regarding coronavirus treatment, a point that he emphasized again during yesterday’s briefing," the statement read. "Leave it to the media to irresponsibly take President Trump out of context and run with negative headlines."0comments
Trump himself also addressed the comments at another press conference on Friday, where he claimed he was being sarcastic as a means to fool the media. "I was asking a question sarcastically to reporters just like you, just to see what would happen," Trump claimed. "I was asking a sarcastic and a very sarcastic question to the reporters in the room about disinfectant on the inside." He then appeared to address his theory once again, adding, "but it does kill it and it would kill it on the hands, and it would make things much better."
The controversy over the president's remarks comes as several states are approaching the end of their Stay-at-Home mandates, including Georgia, which began re-opening businesses on Friday. The decision from Gov. Brian Kemp has been refuted by health experts, as well as Trump. Despite the fact that he'd previously approved of Kemp's call.